by Hunter Dawkins
Similar to the University of Alabama, the Picayune High School (6-2, 2-0) Maroon Tide put scores on opponents that are disturbing. The Long Beach Bearcats (2-6, 0-4) were on the other end this Friday night at Picayune Memorial High Stadium, losing 57-7 in their district matchup.
“Picayune is one of the top teams in the state on any level,” said Long Beach Head Football Coach Philip Pigott. “The culture and love for the game they have established is where we are trying to go.”
The best play of the game for the Bearcats came at the start of the contest, as Long Beach kick returner D’lijah Robinson returned the opening kickoff 91-yards. After the only extra point was converted by Bearcats kicker Kai VanCourt, Long Beach took the early lead 7-0.
Picayune woke up after this, scoring 57 unanswered points including 23 in the second quarter from three touchdowns and a safety. Long Beach had four turnovers and were sacked eleven times to slim down the offensive productivity. The Bearcats delivered only three first downs and the Maroon Tide controlled the time of possession most of the game, as Long Beach ran only close to 30 offensive plays.
Maroon Tide running back Jortin Raine had just shy of 1300 yards coming into the game and recorded long runs on numerous drives.
At the end of the half, the score was 36-7 with the Maroon Tide finishing with three unanswered touchdowns to secure the victory.
“We’re going through growing pains as a program, but we’ve got a team full of fighter,” said Pigott. “We won’t be young for long!”
Long Beach will play next Friday against across the interstate against cross-town district rival West Harrison High School in at their field on County Farm Road in Gulfport. West Harrison lost to district opponent Pearl Riverl Central Friday 40-19.
This rivalry game has become heated in the last few years, even though Long Beach has an 8-1 record over West Harrison.